Alexander von Krobatin


Alexander von Krobatin

Infobox Military Person
name= Alexander von Krobatin
lived= birth date|1849|9|12 – Death date and age|1933|9|28|1849|9|12|


caption=Krobatin in 1914
nickname=
placeofbirth= Olmütz, Moravia, Austrian Empire
placeofdeath= Vienna, Austria
allegiance= Austrian Empire
Austria-Hungary
branch= Army
serviceyears= 1869 – 1918
rank= Field Marshal
unit= Tenth Army
commands= Tenth Army
Eleventh Army
Tyrol Front
battles= Caporetto
Vittorio Veneto
Piave Offensive
awards=
relations=
laterwork= War Academcy Instructor

Alexander Freiherr von Krobatin (12 September 1849 – 28 September 1933) was an Austrian Field Marshal and Imperial Minister for War between 1912 and 1917. [Pope, S. & Wheal, E.A.(1995): "The Macmillan Dictionary of the First World War" Macmillan: London.]

Early life

Born in Olmütz (Olomouc), [web cite| title= "ALEXANDER KROBATIN, FREIHERR VON"| work= Classic Encycolpaedia| url=http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Alexander%2C_Freiherr_Von_Krobatin| accessdate=2008-06-01] Moravia, Krobatin graduated from the Artillery Academy in 1869 before spending a number of years studying the place of artillery in late 19th century warfare. He served as an instructor at the Technical Military Academy from 1877 to 1882 and recognized as an expert in munitions, he was appointed to the War Ministry in 1896 where he successful worked as a head of department and as chief of a section while also promoted to the rank of Major General in 1900. [web cite| title= "Alexander von Krobatin"| work= Who's Who of the first world war| url=http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/krobatin.htm| accessdate=2008-06-01]

Imperial War Minister

A close associate of the army chief of staff Conrad, Krobatin was appointed Imperial Minister for War in 1912 and as an integral member of the "war party" gave his full backing to the hawkish element in the military in their calls for an immediate attack on Serbia following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinald and the July Ultimatum. [web cite| title= "Alexander von Krobatin"| work= Who's Who of the first world war| url=http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/krobatin.htm| accessdate=2008-06-01] With the outbreak of war Krobatin was responsible for the task of harnessing the economies of Industrial Austria and Agrarian Hungary to ensure the now mobilised military was supplied with vital arms and munitions as well as increasing industrial efficiency to meet the needs of a state with a large cohort of its industrial population no longer available for industrial and food production given their enlistment for war. [Pope, S. & Wheal, E.A. (1995): "The Macmillan Dictionary of the First World War" Macmillan: London.] According to a number of sources Krobatin struggled in his task for the first two years of the war, and although he never really threatened to harness the economy efficiently, he succeeded in tripling the level of artillery available at divisional level. [web cite| title= "Alexander von Krobatin"| work= Who's Who of the first world war| url=http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/krobatin.htm| accessdate=2008-06-01]

One of the first commanders to be be raised to the newly created rank of Generaloberst in February 1916, [cite web | title= Alexander Freiherr von Krobatin | work=Austrian Commanders |url= http://www.geocities.com/veldes1/krobatin.html | accessdate=2008-06-01] Krobatin was responsible for dealing with the crisis caused by Roumania's entry into the war on the side of the Entente and the sudden cutting off of resources (particularly grain and petroleum) that Roumania's declaration of war brought. In Crown council on September 9, 1916 Krobatin sought backing for a proposal which would have allowed the army unrestricted powers to seize foodstuffs and punish hoarders but this was vetoed by Chancellor Karl Stürgkh and Premier Istvan Tisza. Though occupied Serbia was eventually to produce more grain than Roumania food supplies to soldiers in the field remained a persistent and crucial worry to those at the higher echelons of the War Ministry. [cite web | title= Alexander Freiherr von Krobatin | work=Austrian Commanders |url= http://www.geocities.com/veldes1/krobatin.html | accessdate=2008-06-01]

Field Commander

With Conrad's dismissal in March 1917, Krobatin was left isolated in the Crown Council and he was relieved of his tenure over the war ministry in April to be handed command of the Tenth army. [Pope, S. & Wheal, E.A.(1995): "The Macmillan Dictionary of the First World War" Macmillan: London.] It was as a field commander that Krobatin was most successful, and following his role at Caporetto in October 1917 during which his force captured two Italian divisions he was promoted to Field Marshal on November 5, 1917. Redeployed to form part of Archduke Josef's strike force in the Tyrol, Krobatin was given command of the entire Tyrol sector following the failure of the Piave Offensive and the Archduke's flight from the front in the face of mutinies on October 26, 1917. [Pope, S. & Wheal, E.A. (1995): "The Macmillan Dictionary of the First World War" Macmillan: London.]

Retirement

Following the rejection of his offer of an armistice to the Italians on October 31, the battered remains of his armies were overrun at Vittorio Veneto a few days latter. [web cite| title= "Alexander von Krobatin"| work= Who's Who of the first world war| url=http://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/krobatin.htm| accessdate=2008-06-01]

Krobatin retied immediately after the close of the war and was never again to hold a commission. He was an Honorary Doctor of Technical Science at the Vienna Technical Institute, Honorary President of the Kaiser Karl War Welfare Fund, and an honorary member of the "Viribus Unitis" Vienna Riding Association. [cite web | title= Alexander Freiherr von Krobatin | work=Austrian Commanders |url= http://www.geocities.com/veldes1/krobatin.html | accessdate=2008-06-01] Krobatin died in Vienna in 1933.

Service record

* 1865 Attends Artillerieakademie until 1869
* 1869 Promoted to Leutnant
* 1873 Promoted to Oberleutnant
* 1879 Promoted to Hauptmann 2. Kl.
* 1882 Promoted to Hauptmann 1. Kl.
* 1877 Attends the Technisch Militarisch Akademie until 1885
* 1885 Truppendienst until 1890
* 1889 Promoted to Major
* 1890 Head of the Artillery Kadett Schule until 1895
* 1892 Promoted to Oberstleutnant
* 1895 Promoted to Oberst
* 1895 Commander of Korps Artillery Regiment 1
* 1896 Head of 7. Section of the RKM until 1904
* 1900 Promoted to Generalmajor
* 1904 Sections Chief im RKM until 1912
* 1905 Promoted to Feldmarschalleutnant
* 1910 Promoted to Feldzeugmeister
* 1912 k.u.k Minister of war until April 1917
* 1916 Promoted to Generaloberst
* 1917 Commands X. Army until October 1918
* 1917 Promoted to Feldmarschall
* 1918 Commands Heeresgruppe Tirol until November 1918 [cite web | title= Alexander Freiherr von Krobatin | work=Austrian Commanders |url= http://www.geocities.com/veldes1/krobatin.html | accessdate=2008-06-01]

Notes

Sources


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